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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Is EPA Listening on the RFS, 'Blend Wall'?

blend wall  epa regulation  renewable fuel standard  ethanol  refineries 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 14, 2013

Interesting analysis from Reuters, citing a leaked EPA document in which the agency indicates it may significantly reduce its biofuels mandate for 2014. The same document acknowledges that the refining “blend wall” is an “important reality,” according to Reuters. If accurate, the report suggests EPA is starting to hear what the oil and natural gas industry and a host of other voices have been saying about the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

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Proposed Tier 3 Rule: Unnecessary, Unjustified

Refining  epa regulation  fuels 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 11, 2013

EPA’s proposal to require additional reduction of sulfur levels in gasoline could mean $10 billion in capital costs for U.S. refiners and annual compliance costs of $2.4 billion, according to a Baker & O’Brien study – potentially resulting in an increase of between 6 cents and 9 cents per gallon in the cost of making gasoline. Going from sulfur levels of 30 parts per million (ppm) to 10 ppm – after Tier II reduced content from 300 ppm to 30 ppm – would produce negligible improvements in air quality, according to an ENVIRON study.

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An Open Letter to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

e15  ethanol  renewable fuel standard  regulation 

Bob Greco

Bob Greco
Posted October 3, 2013

Thanks for your recent invitation to your “Ride & Drive” event. We agree that teaching the public about cylinder leakage in engines using E15 is valuable. Unfortunately, your invitation was sent to the wrong recipient.

You say that the Coordinating Research Council (CRC), which has been the gold standard in terms of vehicle testing for the better part of a century, used an “arbitrary threshold” for cylinder leakage during E15 testing. You seem upset about the results on vehicle damage. Surely you meant to address the invitation to the auto manufacturers, who have stated their concerns that E15 will damage engines, void warranties and reduce fuel efficiency.

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Former Feds Talk Fracking

Environment  Safety  fracking  hydraulic fracturing  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 20, 2013

Encouraging words on shale development via hydraulic fracturing this week from former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and former Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

First Salazar, who as Interior boss was the lead federal official on access to U.S. onshore and offshore oil and natural gas reserves. From coverage of Salazar at the Domenici Public Policy Conference in Las Cruces, N.M., by the Las Cruces Sun-News:

"(Hydraulic fracturing) is creating an energy revolution in the United States alone," Salazar said. He recognized the concerns many environmentalists have with the process, often called fracking, that pumps high-pressured water into holes drilled in the ground to extract gas and oil. Environmentalists are concerned the process contaminates water and air quality, along with other environmental impacts. "I would say to everybody that hydraulic fracking is safe," Salazar said.

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The Promise of New Opportunity From American Energy

lng exports  renewable fuel standard  shale benefits  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 18, 2013

Editorial: U.S. Right to Approve Cove Point LNG Export License

Washington Post: SOME BUILDING projects may be shovel-ready. Others are shovel-desperate: they are reasonable proposals that make economic sense and boast private backers but are being slowed or blocked by interest groups leaning on the government.

One that belongs in the second category is a plan to convert a natural gas import plant, an expensive facility in Cove Point, Md., that’s sitting idle, into one that can handle exports to gas-hungry Japan and India. The Energy Department approved the plan last week, but in Baltimore on Tuesday, a coalition of environmentalists and citizens groups promised to prevent the project from getting the 60 or so additional signoffs it needs. They should find a better use for their time.

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New BLM Rules a Solution in Search of a Problem

hydraulic fracturing  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 23, 2013

“API is concerned that this proposed rule is a solution in search of a problem, an attempt to throw the regulatory apparatus of the federal government over an issue solely to address unsubstantiated ‘public concern.’ That alone cannot justify additional and costly rules that would have no discernible benefit.”

In short, that’s the API analysis of federal hydraulic fracturing rules proposed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). You can read the oil and natural gas industry’s full official comments on BLM’s proposal here.

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Off Target: EPA and Its Inflexible Ethanol Mandates

eia  epa  ethanol  renewable fuel standard  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 15, 2013

Interesting “Today in Energy” post from the able folks at the U.S. Energy Information Administration, recapping EPA’s final 2013 renewable fuels target volumes that were announced last week. No question, EIA is as intrigued as the rest of us by EPA’s mandates and their effect on fuels markets.

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Cheers and Jeers - Reality and the EPA

Refining  regulation  epa  renewable fuel standard  ethanol 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 7, 2013

Now for a change of pace: Kudos to EPA for deciding to give the oil and natural gas industry more time to install emissions controls on storage tanks.

Phasing in the deadline for controls on volatile organic compounds emitted by storage tanks – through April 2015 instead of the original deadline about two months from now – is encouraging because it recognizes industry’s willingness to make its operations cleaner under realistic and fair regulation, while also suggesting the agency can be responsive to industry’s reasonable points of view (more below).

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EPA Proves Inflexible on RFS Mandates

renewable fuel standard  ethanol  regulation  blend wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 6, 2013

Missed opportunity. Recognizing growing concern in Congress that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), with its ever-increasing mandates for ethanol use, is broken, EPA whiffed on Tuesday, with announced 2013 standards for renewable fuel use. Here’s how:

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